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Monday, January 2, 2012

“Buying” New Business Not Worth The Price For Taxpayers

Our friend Dave Frazier (Boise Guardian) has once again given us much to think about the very first day of the new year ahead of us.  

By David R. Frazier January 1, 2012
We’ve all heard of the husband who purchased a new boat the couple couldn’t afford so the wife gets even by remodeling the kitchen and installing new carpet they also couldn’t afford.
 That same silly fiscal policy is being advocated by government and editorial writers from Idaho Falls to Boise–if a business isn’t financially sound enough to survive on its own, give them some cash and tax breaks from citizen’s pocketbooks. After all, if Idaho doesn’t attract these firms, they will go to the “competition” in California, Oregon, or elsewhere.
Micron holds its “jobs” club over the heads of policy makers and gets all sorts of tax breaks–meanwhile the government pays all the workers who were laid off when jobs went offshore.
The Chamber of Commerce’s “Boise Valley Economic Partnership” is drumming up support for a $5-10 million fund to pay businesses to locate in the area. This, after their previous $5 million scheme to attract “high paying jobs” fell flat. Businesses don’t come here to pay higher wages.
Guv Butch is proposing a fund for local entrepreneur start ups. That’s better than helping the Chinese Communists and out of staters, but still not a good place to spend public money. If the idea and product are good, investors will buy in and profit.

In Twin Falls politicos are tripping over themselves as they pony up public promises of about $29,000,000 for a Chobani yogurt plant–a culture unto itself. That area has a history of attracting–and closing businesses.
Pocatello is about to fall victim to an ill-fated solar panel plant backed by the communist Chinese, but not backed with enough cash to pay their electric bill to Idaho Power. Hoku is teetering on the brink of financial failure despite massive infusions of urban renewal funds diverted from schools, the city and county. They also are beneficiaries of state and federal funds.
A hearing before the Idaho Public Utilities Commission over the proposed shut off of electric service to Hoku will be an interesting indicator regarding whether regulators go with the politicos and the POTENTIAL of “jobs” or rule to allow Idaho Power to cut its losses from a deadbeat customer.
Despite repeated promises, hoopla, and assorted pandering Boise can’t even get a Whole Foods chain store going. No doubt the folks at the Co-Op won’t shed tears over that news. If they have the money and Boise looks like a place to do business, Whole Foods would beat down the door of city hall with fists full of cash.
Citing Boise’s “proximity to west coast ports,” there was a big media push a month ago for a Zonda electric bus factory in Boise. The company had even moved its headquarters here. Don’t stand in line for tickets to ride that coach.
The overall message from we GROWTHOPHOBES is similar to that of former Gov. Cecil Andrus who opposed deal sweeteners: “If you have the money to pay your taxes and a fair wage, we welcome you with open arms. If you are shopping for rubes willing to PAY you to come here, please take your business elsewhere.”


  1. Payoffs and perks to businesses reminds me of PAYOLA in the 1950's. People actually went to jail for this in that era.

    I keep wondering when government will reach the reality we are broke and quit all this nonsense of big handouts to companies and developers and lower my property taxes. Any project worthwhile will be able to make it on its own merits.

    I am sick and tired of corporate and developer welfare programs.

  2. I agreed with the comment posted on 01/2012. Assesor assesed my property too high from last year's number. I modified my loan not too long. Principal and interest are fixed, but the property taxes including home insurance are skyrocketting. Where is the validity of doing a modification or refinance to a lower rate, when property taxes are increasing every year. I am 5 years away retirement age and I want to keep my property taxes lower since I would like to keep my house, believe it or not, I would not make any penny worth selling that.


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